Timing lights are a diagnostic tool used on cars without computer-controlled ignition to help the mechanic find the correct setting for ignition timing. Proper timing on a car improves fuel mileage, engine longevity and performance. The device resembles a gun with a flat front and three wires hanging from it. These are connected to the battery and spark plug wire prior to use. Hook up a timing light properly to set accurate timing, avoid arcing of electricity and prevent engine damage.
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To establish the correct advance curve, the vacuum advance and mechanical advance in the distributor must work properly with no binding. As soon as the engine starts and a vacuum is produced, the vacuum advance mechanism advances the spark to about 18 degrees BTDC. When the rpm is raised to , the mechanical advance takes over and increases the advance to 32 degrees BTDC. The timing is set at 4 degrees initial to allow the engine to turn over much easier when starting. This is easier on the starter. Lift the vehicle's hood and remove the air cleaner. Connect the inductive timing light by connecting the red lead to the battery positive post and the black lead to the battery negative or ground.
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But for the remainder of the performance world that does rely on distributors, a timing light is an essential tuning device. In the old days, all timing lights used a small spring that fit between the spark plug and the plug wire that was connected by a clamp to send a high-voltage trigger to the light. Your grandfather might have one of those lying around his shop.
Regarding timing a 6-volt car with a volt timing light , most modern timing lights that connect to the battery do not use an incandescent bulb. I don't know of a timing light that uses an incandescent bulb. The reaction of the filament wouldn't be quick enough for the purpose. Traditionally, the timing light that hooks directly to the spark wire uses a neon bulb. The new lights that hook to your battery, with an induction sensor clipped over the 1 wire, use a xenon bulb flashes white, like the flash in a new camera.